Over the past 20 years the number of women in the fields of math, science and engineering have grown at astronomical rate. The number of women which hold positions in these fields has more than doubled. In post secondary education women are filling up the lecture halls and labs where in the past where it was rare to see a woman at all. If a woman was able withstand the pressure that was put on her it was more than likely that she wouldn't even be hired.
Many organizations have been established to help young women to prosue carriers in either math, science and engineering. A few examples of these organizations are, AWM (Association for Women in Mathematics), WISE (Women In Sience and Engineering), ASEM (Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics) and many others.
Many young women do not prosue carriers in math for one or more key reasons. One is that they have no female role models to look up to or any famous females in that field to inspire them. Another is that they are often disgouraged by others, usually family members, " Why don't you be like your mother and stay home and raise the children." is a common line used. This is most likely because the parents don't want to see their daughter go out and fall flat on her face when she doesn't make it. There is little support from others if a woman wants to go into these fields. Equal opportunities is also a large factor in this, either as a decision maker wether to go into the field or not or cold hard facts. Facts like 90 percent of engineering, math and science position are held by men, this means that they don't hire very many women.
Another reason is that the maybe lacking the self-esteem within their self. This could be because of the scary numbers that are related to women and math, science and engineering positions. Or that they could be struggling in that area. Another factor could be that they fear that hiring opportunities are very sexist and male...